IK Multimedia’s T-RackS was one of the original all-in-one software mastering solutions, and it’s been steadily improved as the years have gone by. It’s now reached version 5, which IK claims is “the most powerful mixing and mastering modular system for Mac/PC,” and offers four new modules.
T-RackS 5 is totally customisable: you can now choose from a total of 38 modules and create a 16-processor series/parallel chain. The new modules include Master Match, which promises to match the sound of a mix with up to three other reference tracks. IK reckons that this will enable even those with no previous audio engineering experience to create great-sounding masters, and could be seen as an attempt to see off auto-mastering services such as LANDR.
The other additions are the Dyna-Mu vari-mu compressor/limiter, which is based on a piece of American hardware and is designed to glue your mix together; the EQual 10-band parametric EQ, which replicates the typical curves of British and American analogue EQs; and the One processor, which combines an EQ, compressor, analogue harmonic exciter, low-end enhancer and limiter and is designed for streamlined and straightforward audio finalisation.
You can use T-RackS 5 in three ways: as a standalone suite, as a plugin suite (ie, a channel strip or mastering chain) or by selecting each processor as a separate plugin (VST/AU/AAX). The interface has been streamlined and is now resizable, and the audio engine has been improved. There are also broadcast-ready metering tools and the option to assemble a complete album from within the T-RackS 5 interface.
T-RackS 5 is completely modular; you can actually download the Custom Shop version for free and then buy modules on a pay-as-you-go basis. Alternatively, you can get nine modules for €150, 22 for €300 and the full 38 for €500 if you go for the Max Bundle. Crossgrades are available, too.
Find out more on the IK Multimedia website.